There are many ways to describe the Detroit Tigers’ starting rotation. Young, up-and-coming, upside-filled, intriguing, frustrating, and fatiguing are all among the adjectives we could use throughout the course of a game during this season. The group is worth tuning into, though, even with these unforgiving west coast nightcaps. Just ask Spencer Turnbull.
Much of the improvement comes thanks to pitching coach Chris Fetter, who is well-regarded for his combination of willingness to incorporate technology, leverage concepts around pitch design, and ability to explore the mental aspects of pitching. Because of Chris and the Kids, the starting rotation ranks 12th in all of MLB in ERA, 11th in WHIP, and 11th in opponents batting average. A stark improvement to the grave 2020 year.
Refreshingly, the paths to success for each pitcher have been poles apart. Boyd has gotten by with high fastballs and more changeups. Mize with inside sinkers. Skubal with heat. Turnbull with his nasty slider. Urena with his own effectively wild flavor. By no means are these finished products, but the improvement we have seen has me wondering: What is most encouraging about each?